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The FTA’s Reaction to the DfT’s New Road Work Funding Package

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The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced a major investment into the funds available to local authorities to be used towards improving the quality of their roads. A staggering £348m has been injected into enhancing the quality of the UK’s local roads system, with this made available to councils across the country over a four-year period.

The funding has been made available to councils specifically so that they can tackle the major issues drivers face, from congestion to potholes and everything in between. Councils will be able to bid for the funding that is available, putting forward their ideas for maintenance projects as they do so.

The Challenge Fund

The first part of the funding has been dubbed the Challenge Fund. To be introduced over the course of this year and 2020, £200m will be in place for local authorities to bid for as they seek to make their roads better and more effective for drivers, including those performing haulage jobs.

The Challenge Fund is available for local authorities looking to construct things like bridges and viaducts in order to improve either the roads or their surrounding areas. It is hoped that the money will go on to benefit the local economy in these regions and make driving conditions safer. It is also The Challenge Fund that will be tackling potholes, an issue that’s become a real scourge for anyone doing haulage jobs.

The Pitch Point Fund

Totalling £150m, the Pitch Point Fund will be set in place from 2021-2023, and will be focused on easing congestion in areas up and down the country. The links between the A12 and A143 are an example of one stretch of road that has benefitted from funding through Pitch Point in recent years, with the DfT hoping this success will continue from 2021 onwards.

The FTA’s Reaction

Whilst for many, this major investment may seem like an impressive move by the DfT, the FTA has argued that it is too little too late. Their Head of Road Network Policy has pointed to how this announcement has only come after years of “chronic underinvestment”, and will simply not go far enough to truly tackle the problems our highways face.

Between 2015 and 2021, a total of more than £6.6bn has and will be invested into the road network in the UK by the DfT. The funding is aimed at enhancing the quality of the local highways, which are vital to industries that rely on the roads, including those of us out there doing haulage jobs.

The DfT’s announcement of the Challenge and Pitch Point funding projects has given new hope to drivers doing haulage jobs, who will find comfort in the knowledge that issues such as congestion and potholes are to be tackled head-on with a serious cash injection. This will begin with £200m over 2019 and 2020, followed by a further £150m to be introduced from 2021-2023.
About author: Desiree Michels

Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage jobs with available drivers, and is now the fastest growing Freight Exchange in the UK.

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